MLB: Top 5 What to Watch fors.

Chris IrvinCorrespondent IMarch 15, 2008

Spring Training is full of roster and positions surprises.  Here are 5 guys that will surprise you in this years upcoming MLB season.

5.  Shelley Duncan:  This 28 year old outfielder could be a surprise to the Yankees in this upcoming season.  Last year in 74 at-bats he hit 7 home runs and drove in 17 runs.  Not impressive numbers but not bad for the little bit of time he got.  It'll be a hard job trying to get an outfield spot in the Yankees lineup with Abreu, Damon, Matsui, and Cabrera.  But if the kid works hard enough he could grab some nice playing time.  And possibly some first base action.

4.  Jeff Francoeur:  This guy isn't a new name to any lineup but he is on this list because I believe that he is going to blow-up this year.  Last year his home run total was down and a lot of people criticized whether he could play or not.  Even though he only hit 19 home runs last year he still drove in 105 runs.  I don't expect him to hit a lot of home runs.  I do expect him to drive in a lot of runs and show of his strong arm in the outfield. 

3.  Evan Longoria:  I think that this 22 year old will have the starting third baseman job to himself at some point this year.  This kid is young and has a lot of talent.  He has hit very well at all levels of the Rays minor league system.  Can he get it done in the Bigs?  I think so.  He has the potential to hit 30 home runs and bat .300.  That won't happen this year, but i believe this upcoming season will be the start of a strong career for Longoria.

2.  Francisco Liriano:  This year will be a come back year for Twins' pitcher Liriano.  This 24 year old was bugged the injury all of last season, but was strong in 2006.  He has some nice stuff and good velocity(when he's healthy).  And if he does stay healthy i would look for a 15 game winner in Liriano.

1.  Felix Hernandez:  Not that this guy hasn't been strong so far in his career, but injury has definitely held him back some.  Talk about dirty pitches watch this guy perform.  He has a very strong arm and the potential to be a 20 game winner.  And the best part, He's only 21.